Sunday, August 31, 2008

September Newsletter

"Salt Marsh Glimmer"
5x7, oil, en plein air

1 September 2008

Welshpool, Campobello Island

Dear Friend:

I chose the above painting for this newsletter because it really evokes the days we've been having lately - cool ocean breezes to waft away the few remaining mosquitoes and a hint of autumn to come. The weather has been ideal for the ripening of blackberries and apples. Our property sports a dozen or so heirloom appletrees, and it's been fun discovering their unique tastes.

I want to remind you about my painting, "Low Tide, Friar's Bay," which will be in the 2008 Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition. The show will be at Richland Fine Art ( in Nashville, Tennessee, from October 17-November 15.

I've been working on a product with a friend, Pat LaBrecque of Black Brook Gallery in New Hampshire. The "Art Cocoon" is a novel wet-panel carrier that lets you safely store, display and handle wet paintings. I've had a prototype of it since spring, and I think everybody who's seen it wants one! It should be available for purchase in September. For a preview, please visit

I want to announce an exciting change in one of my workshops. Each year, I teach a weeklong, full-day workshop at Acadia National Park. I've changed the format for this year. The workshop, which runs October 6-10, will now be a MENTORING workshop modelled on my Campobello plan of five HALF-days. Price of the workshop is $300, which covers tuition only. (If you're not familiar with my mentoring workshops, please visit this page.) If you're interested, contact Gail Ribas at 207-460-4119 or

Speaking of workshops, I've got another very short survey I'd like my students (past or future) to take. It'll only take five minutes, and it'll help me fine-tune next year's schedule. Please click here to go to the survey. If you'd like to take a look at how I've currently got the focus workshops set up, please see my workshops page.

Everyone's wondering what's happened to my new book, Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil & Pastel. Our summer business has been much busier than either Trina or I expected, so it has delayed the book. However, I am deep into the design/layout stage and expect to release it in October or November - certainly in time for Christmas! (My other book, Through a Painter's Brush: A Year on Campobello Island, is also still available. To see a preview and to order it and other books, please visit

By the way, I'm delighted to see that Bob Rohm's book has come out. The Painterly Approach was just released by North Light Books (see this link for more). Bob has been a great friend and teacher over the years, and I'm proud to say that I helped in developing and writing the concept for the book. It is a worthwhile read for any artist at any level. (Visit Bob's site at

Finally, I want to give you a list of some of my upcoming workshops:

September, 2008: Campobello Island, New Brunswick These workshops are almost over. This format of half-days has worked really well over the last few summers, since in the afternoons students can explore the Maritimes with a spouse or friend or, if they're really dedicated, paint more on their own! Pastel or oil.

Here are the remaining weeks:
• Sept 8-12 - Special Mentoring Workshop with Michael/Focus: Painting a Large Format - Intermediate-Advanced Only
• Sept 15-19 - Special Mentoring Workshop with Michael - Intermediate-Advanced Only - full

October 6-10: Acadia National Park, Maine - Mentoring Workshop This will be my fourth time teaching for the Acadia Workshop Center in Southwest Harbor, Maine. In early October, the park glows with beautiful fall foliage. Over the years, I've found lots of great spots to paint here, and I'll gladly share them with you. Pastel or oil. For more, contact Gail Ribas at 207-460-4119, NEW FORMAT! Five half-days. Mentoring workshop. Price: $300 (tuition only)

December 8-12: Sarasota, Florida
We'll be painting in the Myakka River State Park, and the workshop will be based at the Sun'n'Fun resort. There are vacation homes available for rent at the resort; click on "Vacation Rentals" from the menu at the top of the Sun'n'Fun site. Come join us for some fun'n'sun! Take the time to paint some last minute Christmas gifts! Pastel or oil. For more, contact me directly. Price: $350

January-March, 2009: Sedona, Arizona
Join me for weeklong plein air workshops based on the same format as my Campobello Island ones (five half-days.) These will be mentoring workshops and very small in size. Learn and paint half the day and then explore "Red Rock Country" the other half! Pastel or oil. Intermediate-Advanced students only. Contact me directly. Price: $1000 for one, $300 for companion (painter or non-painter) sharing same room. Includes 6 nights lodging plus two meals a day. For more, including a complete schedule, please visit The weeks are filling quickly.

(I'll also be teaching two workshops for the Sedona Art Center during this period. January 31 will be a one-day introduction to pastel in the studio; March 23-27 will be a full week (all day) of plein air pastel. These are different from my mentoring workshops, and are intended for all levels of student. For more, please contact SAC at 1-888-954-4442 or )

January 3-10, 2009: Boca de Tomatlan, Mexico
I'll be teaching at the Casa de los Artistas workshop center at Boca de Tomatlan, a beautiful fishing village nestled between the mountain jungles and the Pacific Ocean and not too far from Puerto Vallarta. It'll be an all-inclusive package, including transport from and to the airport (but not airfare.) $1795 through Oct 31; $1895 after. Pastel or oil. For more, contact Bob Masla at 413-625-8382 (Massachusetts), or visit

June 3-10, 2009. Dordogne Region, France.
I have a past student who is organizing this trip. He and his wife, who speaks fluent French, go to France frequently and would serve as translators and guides. We are still working out details, but the price would most likely be $1500-$2000 and would include lodging, food and the workshop. You'd be responsible for airfare and transportation within France. If you haven't expressed your interest, please let me know and I'll make sure you get updates.

I have many other workshops coming in 2009. For the full list, please see the 2009 workshop page:

That's enough for now. Have a great September!


Michael Chesley Johnson, PSA, MPAC, PSNM

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